Spanish sounding rocket
Country of originSpain
Height4 m
Diameter10 cm
Mass70 kg
Payload to low Earth orbit
Altitude115 km
Mass6 kg (13 lb)
Associated rockets
Derivative workINTA-255, INTA-300
Launch history
Launch sitesEl Arenosillo
Total launches17

The INTA-100 vehicle was a small 2-stage meteorological sounding rocket designed and developed between the 1980s and the 1990s by the Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA). The final design was entirely produced in Spain to be used by the Instituto Nacional de Meteorología (INM now part of the AEMET)[1] in conducting experiments on the atmosphere.


The rocket was a small cylindrical rod 4 meters in length and 10 cm of diameter and a total weight of 70 kg. It was divided into two sections: 1st stage (codename INTA S-12) and the 2nd stage (codename Urbión in reference to the Iberian peaks of the same name) each with its own stabilizing fins.[2] This configuration allowed up to 6 kg of payload with a flight apoapsis of 115 km.


The INTA 100 sounding rocket project was initiated in 1980. With help from the British company Bristol Aerojet, the first launch took place in June 1984, with six additional launches performed by 1986. The main drive behind these test was to further develop and improve rocket engines and their guidance system. With one notable exception, all test were highly successful[3] in helping develop a hybrid inertial/infrared guidance system that would later be used in several of INTA's satellites (such as the Minisat 01 ETRV and the Nanosat 01 ACS). The 5 following test would focus on geodesic studies such as reception of ionospheric beacons emitted by satellites and atmosphere dynamics. To fund these missions INTA reached for several, both public and private, investors such as the Spanish Air Force, the University of Valencia, the University of Sussex, DFVLR, IROE and most important the Comisión Nacional de Investigación del Espacio (CONIE).[4] The later completely funded 2 launches and quickly became INTA's main partner also participating in balloon launches and the funding of infraestructure.[5]

As a consequence of the closure of CONIE in 1986, the INTA-100 project was put on hold for 4 years due to the lack of funds. Nonetheless by 1990 the situation was good enough to resume work on the rocket producing 6 more rockets that would be complete testing by 1992. These test would prove successful enough to encourage the development of the INTA rocket series that would culminate on the Capricornio.[1] In addition, INTA would be given funds to develop more ambitious projects such as the first Spanish satellites (Intasat and Minisat 01) that would pave the way for INTA to join ESA and reach the current involvement on the space industry.[6][7]


Image of the INTA-300 an evolutionary design of the INTA-100.

During its career 12 rockets were built and used in a total of 17 missions (15 of them successfully), most of them to conduct various test on either the rocket or its payload.[8]

Launching site Date Codename Purpose Results
El Arenosillo 11 June 1984 INTA MZ-8401 Test, Zorzal 1, Mock-up Success
12 June 1984 INTA MZ-8402 Test, Zorzal 2, Mock-up Success
13 June 1984 INTA RP-8401 Ballast, Rocío 1 Success
27 March 1985 INTA RP-8501 Ballast, Rocío 2 Success
18 June 1985 INTA RP-8502 Ballast, Rocío 3 Failure
24 June 1985 INTA RP-8503 Ballast, Rocío 4 Success
13 November 1985 INTA RP-8504 Ballast, Rocío 5 Success
15 November 1985 INTA RP-8505 Chaff, Rocío 6 Success
17 October 1990 INTA MZ-9001 Test, M0, Mock-up Success
21 October 1990 INTA MZ-9002 Test, M1, functioning mock-up Success
22 October 1990 INTA MZ-9003 Test, M2, functioning mock-up Success
18 January 1991 INTA RP-9101 Test, Rocío 7, Prototype Success
18 January 1991 INTA RP-9102 Meteo, Rocío 8, Prototype Failure
14 October 1991 INTA RP-9103 Test, Rocío 9, Success
15 October 1991 INTA RP-9104 Test, Rocío 10 Success
7 April 1992 INTA RP-9201 Tech Payload, Rocío 11 Success
8 April 1992 INTA RP-9202 Tech Payload, Rocío 12 Success

See also

The family of sounding rockets developed from the INTA-100:


  1. ^ "INM, Instituto Nacional de Meteorología". (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  2. ^ "INTA-100". Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  3. ^ Rivera, Alicia (7 April 1992). "Lanzado con éxito el cohete lanzador español 'Inta-100'". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Ley 47-1963, de 8 de julio, por la que se crea la Comisión Nacional de Investigación del Espacio". vLex (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  5. ^ Dorado, José M.; Bautista, Manuel; Sanz-Aránguez, Pedro (2002). "Spain in Space: A short history of Spanish activity in the space sector" (PDF). European Space Agency.
  6. ^ "Spain's Aerospace Industry – New Technologies from Spain – MIT Technology Review". Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Spain and science at the European Space Agency". Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  8. ^ "INTA-100". Retrieved 15 May 2020.